The idea of undergoing dental implant surgery can be a bit intimidating. After all, it does involve surgically placing metal posts into your jaw as a way of replacing damaged or missing teeth. However, knowing what to expect should help you prepare mentally and emotionally for the procedure.
What does a dental implant look like?
Typically, a dental implant is made of titanium and looks like a screw. It is designed to mimic the root of your tooth. Once it’s surgically placed, the implant has to become securely attached to the jawbone before a crown can be placed on top of it, a process that could take several months.
Does it hurt?
As with any kind of surgery, there is a certain degree of discomfort involved. Your dentist, however, will see to it that any such pain or discomfort will be alleviated with local anesthesia. You can also expect to be prescribed medications that will ease any discomfort you might experience after the procedure.
How you’re prepared for surgery
Before going into surgery, your dentist will typically tell you to rinse with chlorhexidine or any similar special antibacterial mouthwash. It’s also likely your dentist will instruct you to take antibiotics days before the procedure.
The dental implant procedure
Your dentist will use local anesthesia to make your mouth completely numb. Once the numbness sets in, the dentist will make an incision on the part of your gums where the implant will be placed. When the bone is exposed, your dentist will use a specialized drill to create a space in which the implant will go. Using the same drill or perhaps a hand tool, the dentist will screw the implant in place. Your gums will then be closed over the implant, with some cases requiring stitches.
All of the above is just the first phase of the procedure. Once the bone and the implant have fully bonded over the course of several months, the second phase begins with the dentist making a small incision in your gums to re-expose the implant. Your dentist will then place a small extension on the implant. This extension, in turn, is where a new dental crown will be placed.
It is normal for patients to experience sore and swollen gums after a dental implant procedure. It is common practice for dentists to prescribe painkillers to help with the discomfort. However, it is not unheard of for some people who have undergone a dental implant procedure not to need any pain medication at all. Some even go straight to work the following day.
Maintaining your implants
Your implants should be cared for just like you would with your natural teeth. Brushing and flossing the implant or crown is recommended. I would also be good if you can visit your dentist every six months or so.
Knowing what to expect from dental implant surgery can make the procedure much easier. If have questions or concerns about implant surgery, the best thing to do is to schedule a consultation and speak with your dentist.
We are now accepting a Limited number of patients to take advantage of the reduced rate of $499 per implant during a Live Surgical Course being directed by Dr. John Minichetti at the Dental Implant Learning Center @ Englewood Dental. Call 201-871-3555 or click here to request your FREE consultation and evaluation.
(Reg implant cost $1,995.00 per implant. Evaluation and consultation value $165.00. Additional fees apply for crowns or dentures attached to the implants.)
Dr. Megan Peterson Boyle is a cosmetic dentist with Dental Studio 101 in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is focused on providing anxiety-free dental services, including dental implants and cosmetic fillings. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her friends and family.